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21 MAR-APR 2020 MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS MCMAG-ASIA.COM guests check-in, ensuring key card access is only to the designated #oor in which the guest is accommodated during their stay, physical and regular patrols by security o$cers around the hotel for deterrence purposes, and the use of CCTVs for regular surveillance of the hotel premises at all times. Mental health International SOS states that one of the most understated threats for frequent travellers is that of mental health issues. According to Ipsos MORI's Business Resilience Trends Survey 2020, only 15% of practitioners in the travel trade included mental health issues in their travel policies. "This !gure is worrying, given that there are increasingly studies and accounts of business travellers su"ering from mental health issues. Should such issues go unchecked or overlooked, it can cause long term mental illness, as well as erode business productivity during such events," said Mr Luthra. The company has implemented mental health programmes and bene!ts to ensure the health and safety of employees, and to give them peace of mind during MICE events or overseas trips. "Our employees are required to download our International SOS the risks they might encounter while traveling is important. Yet, even with all the planning and pain-staking analysis derived from multiple sources, not everything can be controlled. "Delegates and attendees often view free time as sacred, moments when they can remain anonymous and have control of their schedule; during those periods, it's hard for organisers to police their every movement. In such cases, planners should still advise delegates on things like areas that should be avoided or ways to behave in public," advised Mr Luthra. The cost of incidents There are signi!cant costs involved if attendees are a"ected by incidents. Through a 2015 study undertaken by Prevent and commissioned by the International SOS Foundation, the company claimed that a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy can reduce the average cost per insured life by more than half. The report highlighted both direct and indirect cost-bene!ts, and also quanti!ed the cost of failed international assignments. These key !ndings of the study conclude that the average investment in an international assignment is US$311,000 per annum and the cost of a failed assignment ranges between US$570,000 and $950,000. "Safety and security are not at that level yet, where it is part and parcel of planning and we need a few key organisations to set the stage here." - SAM LAY, SENIOR DIRECTOR, ASIA PACIFIC, CWT MEETINGS & EVENTS Assistance app to receive timely updates and advice about the destination risks, and get brie!ngs on the location they are travelling to, if required from our medical and security teams. "Trip planning, bookings and transport during the trip are also arranged by the travel agent ahead of time. Employees are also asked to 'check in' regularly via our Assistance App when they travel, so that in the event of an incident, they can be quickly located and given the appropriate assistance. In doing so, employees can minimise their mental burden that arises from poor preparation." These procedures empower MICE planners with adequate contingency plans, risk mitigation strategies and greater medical and security support procedures should the need arise at an event. The dangers of free time Preparing delegates and attendees for

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